Wednesday, April 18, 2012


You know what’s really, really hard as a parent?

Deciding whether or not to tell your kid he or she sucks at something.

Really, like most parents, I think my kids are nearly perfect. But “nearly” is a broad spectrum, and smack in the middle of that “nearly” is Caroline’s singing voice. It’s a particular pitch that makes me think my brains are trying to escape from my skull.

Poor thing can’t carry a tune in a bucket.

And yet, she’s convinced she’s the Next. Big. Thing.

She’s. Not.

But. She sings all the time. She sings in a fake British accent and she sings in a breathy voice and she sings as though she’s got a gangsta for a music teacha. She sings opera and ad jingles and pop songs and television theme songs. She sings the way she hears songs, so she doesn’t necessarily complete all the sounds in words and it’s all one, long, run-on noise. She sings into a microphone and she sings in the shower and she downloads karaoke versions of songs on her iTouch so she can hear herself sing, rather than listening to that pesky Selena Gomez.

She sings loudly. She sings constantly.

It’s driving us completely crazy. We’ve thrown parenting rules out the window and finally implored her to shut up, though we said it in a very nice way. We’ve said “no singing at the dinner table” and “no singing while doing your homework” and “no singing when you’re awake.” Jack will nod and say wisely, “You’re not very good at it and it’s annoying.” She responds by asking if we think she’ll be chosen as a soloist for the spring choir performance.

Her class is performing the Pirates of Penzance this spring. It’s a musical. She tried out for all the big singing parts.

She came home very excited: “The teacher told me to stop singing after the first two lines. I was that good. I totally got a good singing part.”

Imagine her surprise when she was awarded the very non-singing role of the narrator.

“Well,” she rationalized. “I was Juliet in Romeo & Juliet. They probably needed to give me a small role this time.”

Right. That’s why.

(Yup. I’m a wimp. I’ll wait for her friends to tell her.)

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